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Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates tells students in Oklahoma the future is in their hands

About 5,000 people came to Gallagher-Iba Arena on the Oklahoma State campus on Wednesday to listen to Gates, who served as the 22nd Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Gates also worked in the Central Intelligence Agency beginning in 1966 and served as the director of the CIA from 1991 to 1993.
by Adam Kemp Modified: October 24, 2012 at 10:30 pm •  Published: October 25, 2012

While keeping a serious tone for most of the night, Gates also touched on a few lighthearted topics: Why he thinks the recent Hollywood blockbuster “Argo” is the best movie ever made about the CIA; and how under his command the CIA once ran a covert operation with the help of a cat.

“We knew that some terrorists were doing some planning of an operation in a conference room in an East German embassy,” he said. “There was a cat that slept in the conference room most of the time and so after a great deal of planning we kidnapped the cat and we planted a listening device in the cat where we knew no one would look.”

Gates also touched on what he thinks young adults should look out for with each candidate in the coming election.

“I've worked for eight presidents and there is nothing that can prepare you to be president of the United States,” he said. “I think at the end of the day what people need to look at is character and temperament. The temperament is really important rather than specific skills or command of certain issues.”

Gates wrapped up his hour-long speech by saying that even with the number of issues weighing on the U.S. internationally, the ability to keep our country at the height of global, economic, political and military pre-eminence will not depend on the actions of other countries, but on the actions of Americans themselves.

“It will depend on our character as a people, the sacrifices we are willing to accept and the courage and unity we demonstrate,” Gates said.

“I believe we will prove worthy.”

by Adam Kemp
Enterprise Reporter
Adam Kemp is an enterprise reporter and videographer for the Oklahoman and Kemp grew up in Oklahoma City before attending Oklahoma State University. Kemp has interned for the Oklahoman, the Oklahoma Gazette and covered Oklahoma State...
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I've worked for eight presidents and there is nothing that can prepare you to be President of the United States.”

Robert Gates

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense

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